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IRS tax preparation sites

OW Contributor | 4/1/2009, 5 p.m.

Los Angeles, CA -- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program (TCE) gear up as the April 15 income tax filing deadline nears.

The VITA Program offers free tax help to low- to moderate-income (generally, $42,000 and below) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Certified volunteers sponsored by various organizations receive training to help prepare basic tax returns.

The Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program (TCE) provides free tax help to people aged 60 and older. Trained volunteers from non-profit organizations provide free tax counseling and basic income tax return preparation for senior citizens. Volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.

Most locations also offer free electronic filing. Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program will receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper, and even faster if you have your refund deposited directly into your bank account.

Items you need to bring to the VITA/TCE sites to have your tax returns prepared:
Proof of identification;
Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents and/or a Social Security Number
verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration;
Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return;
Current year's tax package if you received one;
Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers;
Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099);
A copy of last year's Federal and State returns if available;
Bank Routing Numbers and Account Numbers for Direct Deposit; and
Total paid for day care provider and the day care provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number).

Below are listed sites in the general South L.A. area. Most will provide services until April 15 and require an appointment. Please phone ahead for days and times of operation and for other specific information. If the various locations, including the GLAEA (Greater Los Angeles Economic Alliance) sites are not in your area, please call (800) 829-1040 for the VITA/TCE site nearest you.

* GLAEA - Crenshaw, 1900 W. 48th St., L.A. (310) 693-6530.
* Carecen - Call for days and times. 2845 W. 77th St., L.A. (213) 385-7800.
* GLAEA - South Los Angeles, 7901 S. Vermont Ave., L.A. (310) 693- 6530.
* Grant AME Church - 10435 S. Central Ave., L.A. (323) 564-1151.
* GLAEA - Watts, 1827 E. 103rd St., L.A. (310) 693-6530.
* HIV/AIDS Legal Services, 3550 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 750, L.A. (213) 637-1690.
* Southwestern Law School, 3050 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. (213) 738-6609.
* GLAEA - Inglewood, 101 W. Manchester Blvd., L.A. (310) 693-6530.
* God's Will VITA Site, 415 W. Torrance Blvd., Carson.
* Greater Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, 12329 S. Wilmington Ave., Compton.
* GLAEA - Compton, 4323 E. Rosecrans Ave., Compton (310) 693-6530.